Coalition talks must centre around being allowed to smack children – said only one sad sack ever

Another one of the old Conservative Party’s beacons of integrity (once a court recalls him to compel the truth) thinks that New Zealanders are chomping at the bit to be able to hit their children legally again.

Family First NZ says that fixing the anti-smacking law will be on the coalition negotiation table, based on statements made by Winston Peters and NZ First before the election.

In a speech in March in Northland, leader Winston Peters said; “We are going to repeal the anti-smacking law which doesn’t work and has in fact seen greater violence towards children.” He then further clarified his position in an interview on Newstalk ZB saying that this matter should go to a referendum with New Zealand people who are “far more reliable and trustworthy on these matters, rather than a bunch of temporarily empowered parliamentarians.” This position was backed up by senior MP Tracey Martin.

“NZ First is now in a position to be able to protect good parents and put the focus where it should be – on rotten parents and actual abuse. The politicians and anti-smacking lobby groups linked good parents who smacked their children with child abusers, a notion roundly rejected – and still rejected – by NZ’ers. The anti-smacking law assumes that previous generations disciplined their children in a manner that was so harmful that they should now be considered criminals,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

National leader Bill English also hasn’t ruled out holding another referendum on smacking, if that’s what it takes to form the next Government.

A poll released in January found continued widespread rejection of the law and that two out of three NZ’ers would flout the law if they believed it reasonable to correct the behaviour of their child.

“A report at the beginning of last year analysing the 2007 anti-smacking law, “Defying Human Nature: An Analysis of New Zealand’s 2007 Anti-Smacking Law”, found that there was not a single social indicator relating to the abuse of children that had shown significant or sustained improvement since the passing of the law, and that the law has negatively impacted law-abiding parents. And an analysis of the law in 2014 by Public Law Specialists Chen Palmer said that “good parents” are being criminalised for lightly smacking despite assurances by politicians that this wouldn’t happen,” says Mr McCoskrie.

Here’s the thing Bob:  Nobody, apart from you perhaps, wants to go down in history as the person who legalised the smacking of babies.

I agree with you that it should never have been passed as a law in the first place, and that there may still be little general support for it among people when you ask them a straight question.

But here’s the other side:  those that want to smack still do.  Those that don’t but have no conceptual issue with it aren’t going to make this a bottom line issue.

Time to go back to your obsession with porn in society Bob.  Smacking children legally and the criminalisation of all porn… you certainly picked the easy topics.

 


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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